What the Butler Saw

Sydney Walk
August 16th 1853

I do not care for Garforth at all. Dauncey is scared of him and the servants will do nothing he tells them. I heard the pantrymaid answer him back yesterday with such effrontery I wonder that he did not call on Josiah to dismiss her. Villiers was so good with the staff – oh, I cannot be expected to endure this new arrangement a minute longer!  I have already spoken of my dissatisfaction in the matter to Josiah, but he seems happy enough with him. He is vague about Garforth’s origins and simply will not give me a clear answer to the question of where he found him, and so soon after Villiers abandoned us. If he was indeed recommended by a member of Josiah’s club I should wish to question the member concerned. Josiah’s obvious and creditable commitment to his business is making him inattentive at home, I fear, but the fact is he has hastily employed an incompetent man that he has no intention of censuring for his inadequacies. It is as if Garforth has more power at Sydney walk than Josiah himself.

We are due to resume our lives at Blindingham next month – although it will be strange to spend Winter in the country and not here in London – and I absolutely will not take Garforth with me to preside over the staff at the Hall. He seems to know little of a Butler’s duties and much of the ways of a dandy. He wears clothing more suited to a gentleman entertainer  –  perhaps he is merely acting the part of a servant in preparation for some theatrical presentation? I shall invite poor Papa to tea and see if he can sniff the stage on him!

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